Compliance with the California Sick Leave Law requires five important Steps.

Employee Sick Leave under California Law


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Employment Law and Compliance

Compliance with the California Sick Leave Law requires five important Steps.

Employers must be in compliance with the California Sick Leave Law or face stiff fines and penalties. There are several important steps that a business must take to be fully compliant with the laws. This article is designed to give an easy and quick reference to becoming compliant with the California Sick Leave Laws. It also has links to useful resources for compliance with the law.

The California sick leave law provides a minimum of 3 days of sick leave for employees working in California each year. This includes employees who are temporary, seasonal, or part-time. Employees are able to earn 1 hour of sick leave every 30 hours that they work. The article on sick leave laws goes more into effect or you can check out our FAQ article for more information. This article specifically covers becoming compliant with the law.

Decide the method of sick leave award

The first step is to decide as an employer how you will award sick leave. It can be awarded up front at the beginning of the year or employee’s employment, or it can be paid on an accrual basis. The difference for employers is two-fold. Awarding the sick leave up front, pending a 90-day probationary state for new employees means that employees can use sick leave at the beginning of the year before they have earned the sick leave through hours worked. However, employers who use the up-front method only have to award 3 days of sick leave to employees each year.

The other method is the accrual method. Employees can earn sick leave hour by hour, based on the number of hours worked. In the accrual method, employers are required to allow up to 6 days of sick leave per year. For legal purposes, a sick day is defined as 8 hours or 1 day of work, whichever is greater. That means that part-time employees are still awarded 24 hours of sick leave each year, even if they normally work only 5 hour days.

Employers need to pay, track and report sick leave. SwipeClock can help you to automate the process by automatically tracking sick leave and reporting it to your employees time-sheets. Timekeeping becomes less complicated with automatic reporting of sick leave accrual on employee pay stubs. Generate reports and track time off and balance easily through our workforce management software.

Compliance with the new California Sick Leave LawsProvide a written policy of sick leave policy to employees at hiring time.

Businesses are required by California law to notify employees of the sick leave policy and the method of sick leave award. It is vital for employers to notify new employees of the sick leave policy immediately upon hire. This document is a sample notification and is published by the State of California.

Display a Poster of your Sick Leave Policy

Display a poster of your sick leave policy where employees can read it. The poster can be displayed on an 81/2 x 11 page or larger in a prominent place that employees can access and read. Find a poster that businesses can use and display here.

Report to employees their sick leave balance

California law requires that employers report sick leave balance to employees on their pay stubs. If sick leave balances are not reported on pay stubs, it must be reported on a document issued the same day as the pay stub. This ensures that employees are always aware of their balance and can plan accordingly. SwipeClock reporting makes it easy to track and report sick leave balance, as well as any additional paid time off that your business may provide.

Keep records for at least three years.

Without records, your business has no proof that it remained in compliance with the California Sick Leave Law. Without proof, employers are subject to the corresponding fines and penalties imposed by the law. Additionally, they could be subject to legal suits by the employees.

California law requires the businesses maintain records for at least 3 years. It is best to maintain the current year’s records and an additional three years of records. Swipeclock software can maintain your sick leave records beyond the required minimum 3 years.

Compliance with California Sick Leave Laws is as simple as following these five steps. For additional information on sick leave laws, check out our article on California Sick Leave or the exceptions. SwipeClock also provides additional information on Federal Overtime laws and other State and Local ordinances related to employee pay and timekeeping.

Written by Annemaria Duran Last updated Oct 24, 2016

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Simplify HR management today.

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